Survey shows Minnesota workplace injuries continue to decreaseA recent Minnesota workplace survey estimates the state's injury and illness rate decreased significantly from 2007 to 2008.
A recent Minnesota workplace survey estimates the state's injury and illness rate decreased significantly from 2007 to 2008. According to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, an estimated total of 87,900 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in Minnesota's private-industry and public-sector workplaces during 2008, resulting in a rate of 4.2 cases per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers. These are the lowest number of cases and total case rate since the survey began in 1972. In 2007, there were an estimated 94,200 injury and illness cases, 4.6 cases per 100 FTE workers.
For the survey, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) collected 2008 injury and illness records from approximately 5,100 Minnesota employers. State agencies and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gather the survey data, which is the primary source of workplace injury and illness data nationwide.
"Workplace safety is our number one priority," said Steve Sviggum, DLI commissioner. "Our goal is to get all employees home at the end of the workday in the same condition they arrived to work. While numbers and statistics can be cold things, these statistics show positive results: safer workplaces and fewer injuries and illnesses for Minnesota workers."
Since 2003, Minnesota added more than 110,000 workers, while the estimated number of recordable injury and illness cases has decreased by about 23,700 cases.
Nationally, an estimated 3.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in private-industry workplaces during 2008, resulting in a rate of 3.9 cases per 100 FTE workers. These were below the 2007 national private-industry estimate of 4.0 million cases with a rate of 4.2 cases per 100 FTE workers. Minnesota's private-industry injury and illness rate was 4.2 cases per 100 FTE workers.
Other information from the Minnesota survey:
An estimated 40,400 cases in 2008 resulted in days away from work, job transfer or restrictions. The rate for these injuries was 1.9 cases per 100 FTE workers, significantly below the rate of 2.2 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2007.
The rate of days-away-from-work cases was 1.1 per 100 FTE workers in 2008, significantly below the rate of 1.3 cases per 100 FTE workers in both 2007 and 2006.
Industry divisions with the highest total injury and illness rates per 100 FTE workers were agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (7.2); health care and social assistance (6.2); and transportation and warehousing (6.1).
The total case rate for construction dropped significantly, from 7.6 cases per 100 FTE in 2007 to 5.6 cases per 100 FTE workers in 2008. The number of injury and illness cases dropped 33 percent, from 8,300 cases in 2007 to 5,500 cases in 2008. Construction is the only industry division with total case rate decreases every year since 2003. The total case rate in construction dropped by 40 percent, from a rate of 9.3 per 100 FTE workers in 2003.
The summary tables are available on the DLI Web site at www.dli.mn.gov/RS/StatWSH.asp. The national BLS summary tables are available online at www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm.